• Aug 20th 2008 at 8:01PM
  • 78
From the beginning, the Nissan GT-R's performance figures seemed too good to be true. Weighing in at over 3,800 pounds and packing a claimed 480 hp, the 3.5-second sprint to 60 and 11.8-second quarter-mile time just didn't add up. And then the tests began...

Buff books and online outlets began publishing 0-60 runs between 3.2 and 3.4 seconds, and quarter-mile times began dropping quicker than a co-ed's IQ on a nitrous binge. CARandDRIVER.com discovered a similar discrepancy between five different GT-Rs and finally decided to get some time on the dyno to get some real-world numbers.

CARandDRIVER's first tester ran to 60 in 3.3 seconds and past the traps in 11.5 seconds at 124 mph, causing C&D's scribes to suspect that Nissan engineers cranked up the boost on the evaluation vehicle. Shortly thereafter, two more GT-Rs arrived at their offices, both recording significantly slower quarter mile times and confirming their suspicions. Unfortunately, time constraints prevented either vehicle from getting up on the rollers. That would have to wait until Tony Swan returned with his GT-R after campaigning in the One Lap of America.

Surprisingly, Swan's GT-R performed exactly the same in performance tests as the first GT-R C&D tested. When they finally strapped it to MotorCity Speed's Mustang dyno, No. 4 put down 415 horsepower to the wheels, and with an estimated drivetrain loss of 20 percent (an average on most all-wheel-drive cars), that meant output was closer to 519 hp, rather than Nissan's claimed 480 hp.

Not content to leave well-enough alone, CARandDRIVER procured a fifth GT-R, which returned almost identical 0-60 and quarter-mile times as the fourth vehicle, along with 420 hp at the wheels on the same dyno.

You can read all the details at CARandDRIVER.com, hear Nissan's explanation for the discrepancy and see charts of both the dyno pulls and the boost levels on two of the five vehicles.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Jeremy Wayne
      • 7 Years Ago
      I still haven't figured out what makes the GT-R so special...but if it has over 400hp I would be happy with it especially being factory. Sounds like it's just 480 at the wheels or Nissan just wanted people to get excited and assume it all and buy one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      For the lazy, from motortrend:

      "Nissan engineers insist the GT-R really does only have 480 hp. Motohiro Matsumura, president of Nissan Technical Center North America, Inc. in Farmington Hills, Michigan, says our dyno test story, which revealed the GT-R develops 430 hp at the wheels, is basically right. But he insists our estimate of a minimum 15-percent friction losses -- which suggests the GT-R is making 507 hp -- is wrong. Matsumura-san says ultra-low friction bearings in the wheel hubs and transmission, plus the careful alignment of the all-wheel-drive system's propshafts, mean friction losses are reduced to an unprecedented 10 percent or so. We're going to get a GT-R back and conduct some coast-down tests to see if he's right."
        • 7 Years Ago
        Instead of playing 'guess the drivetrain loss' someone just needs to pull the motor and get it over with.

        All this speculation going on while multiple shops have cars for testing modifications on could just pull the motor and test it at the crank is getting old.

        Yes, we know it's doing goofy things with the published numbers. Someone just suck it up and dyno the thing at the crank already.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's not like they needed much more hype about this thing!
      • 7 Years Ago
      so it´s all a big lie.
      all that explains a Ring time of 7:29. obviously the Ring nissan had much more horsepower than the 480 like the ones given to journalists and wasn`t stock. probably it wasn´t the only thing modified. the 3 stock GT-Rs that car&driver tested wouldn`t even make the 7:40 imho..
      the standard customer gets a bluff ...
        • 7 Years Ago
        You are totally backwards. If anything they underated the GT-R.

        You make it sound like they overated it, i.e. the prototypes had dialed up boost. Not likely when the stock versions are getting a MINIMUM of 480hp.

        Wrong, the stock versions are often putting down higher numbers than predicted.

        The 7:29 is perfectly logical when a factory-spec GT-R is faster around Willow Springs than a Porsche GT2, and way faster than a Z06.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Ive driven 3 different GT-R's at work (import)

      They were all F-ing quick...

      Does .3 of a second matter 0-60, not in my book.

      Yes you can judge a car on what the brochure states... or you could just get out there and enjoy the car! Whats the likely hood of pulling up at the lights with another? no one is going to notice if yours is a "slow" or "fast" GT-R

      And so what, they probably did tweak the car for official test... but im sure there not the first company to do it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      So I am assuming everyone want to pay more money for less powerful cars? Gosh that's sound dumb. Underrated is so much better that overrating. 480 but get 500 ah extra 20 for special events or occasions. Gee come on all! stop nagging! its just a car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's a long tradition in Japan of massively under reporting the HP numbers of their sports cars because of a gentleman's agreement on paper that none of the manufacturers actually adhered to in practice. In this respect, the GT-R is true to it's heritage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apparently C&D have never heard of coast down tests that calculate driveline losses pretty accurately....

      • 7 Years Ago
      Why doesn't the EPA or someone mandate dyno testing for all new cars? Manufacturers shouldn't be able to lie about horsepower/torque output any more than they'd like to falsify gas mileage.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What would be wrong with them underrating their gas mileage?

        If they said 15 highway and it got 20 highway, the customer wins!

        This isn't screwing the customer. They are just not making any promises they can't keep. If they said 505hp and people got them from the factory with 480, that would be worse than this situation.

        Their campaign here is "20 hp free with purchase of 480!"

        Why is everyone complaining?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Are they complaining about getting a more powerful car than they ask for? Are the people at C&R out of their mind?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "and quarter-mile times began dropping quicker than a co-ed's IQ on a nitrous binge"

      ahh the autoblog writing... too clever by half sometimes
      • 7 Years Ago
      clicketyclack is right
      EACH GT-R is a unique car, has a unique motor, unique "matching" transmission, no other car in the world is built in the same way. Hence the difference.
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